Inc., the maker of AVG AntiVirus, is a U.S.-based company
established in 1998 as a holding company for Grisoft, s.r.o.,
a Czech Republic-based high-tech company specializing in
the development and marketing of antivirus software for
computer systems since 1990. AVG Anti-Virus is a virus
detection and eradication program which provides PC users
with an easy to use interface and effective tools with
which to combat viruses.
our review copy of AVG AntiVirus was a bit of an adventure.
I placed the CD into the CD-ROM drive and waited for
the Autorun to kick in. I waited. And waited. Nothing.
The installer would not autorun. So I started Windows
Explorer. After double- clicking the setup icon, the
standard install screen popped up and showed me the license
info and so on. I clicked 'Yes' several times until the
program asked me where I wanted to install AVG AntiVirus
6.0. I set an installation path. As the software began
to install, a funny thing happened — the installer stopped
at 22%, and then crashed. I stared for a moment, then
sighed, and rebooted. I tried again. Same result. To
make a long story short (and to keep this review under
6 pages), it turned out the CD itself was faulty. I ended
up copying the files from the CD to a Jaz disc, and installing
from there. Once done, I rebooted and started AVG Anti-Virus.
For the record, the latest versions of AVG install perfectly
on an enormous variety of systems. We believe the foregoing
installations woes were complete anomaly.
first thing I noticed was the user-friendly interface.
Everything was laid out in a way that allowed very quick
access to any part of the program. Big icons and easy-to-read
fonts made it extremely easy to see and understand what
I was doing.
are four big buttons on the left side of the UI: AVG
Control Center, Resident Shield, E-Mail Scanner, and
Virus Database. Each function can be active or disabled,
depending on what options you pick in the setup. When
I clicked on each of the buttons, a dialog box popped
up and told me exactly what it did or was doing, and
asked me whether or not I wanted to enable it or disable
well as having the on-screen options to work with, there
is a standard menu bar at the top of the window, that
allows access to all the options within the program.
There are also buttons across the bottom of the UI: Info,
Help, Test Results, Scheduler, and Exit. Info provides
information about Grisoft, the software license, etc.
Help provides access to the online help system. Test
Results provides information about all the previous scans
you have conducted on your system using AVG AntiVirus.
Scheduler lets you set a specific time each day (or week,
month, etc.) for AVG AntiVirus to scan your system.
are two different types of scans: a complete test which
scans internal hard drives, and a Removable Media test
which lets you scan floppy disks, CD-ROMs, removable
media, and external hard drives. The Removable Media
test is a welcome addition to the scan options, as most
other Anti-virus programs force you to select the drive
from a list (which I've always felt was kind of clumsy).
The default virus listing was quite extensive, and became
even more lengthy when I downloaded the latest virus
profiles update from the Grisoft/AVG web site. The AVG
Control Center lets you modify any of the options. For
example, you can tell the E-Mail Scanner whether or not
to scan outgoing mail, or set a scheduled time for AVG
to update itself. The Scheduler options are extremely
useful for someone with a permanent Internet connection
(network, ADSL/DSL, or cable), as the scheduler can work
unhindered as it downloads the latest updates.
used my Father's virus collection at Proton Research
in an attempt to fool AVG Anti-Virus. We tried Ghost,
Shadow, a dozen different Word Macro virii, the extremely
tough Stealth_Boot.C.STB and PeterII variants (boot sector/MBR
virii), the scary Taiwan.DoomI.A variant (which erases
the first 160 sectors of C and D drives on the 8th day
of any month), and Hydra (a crippling polymorphic virus).
They're all nasty, but AVG detected them easily and permanently
removed all of them. Despite a couple of "Cons" (see
below), AVG Anti-Virus is recommended.
Grisoft should test their install CDs before giving them
to reviewers. Read the following blurb from the Grisoft
web site on AVG's Heuristic Analysis component and tell
me if it makes any sense: "The advanced heuristics
technology implemented in the AVG engine represents nine
years of continuous development is now not only the "privilege" of
an "on-demand" scanner, but it is available
even on the AVG Resident Shield, AVG E-Mail Scanner or
AVG Shell Extension." It doesn't make much sense,
does it? The problem is either abidingly poor translation
and localization of documents, or someone who is trying
to be an engineer, programmer, writer, proof reader,
and marketing manager, all at the same time. It doesn't
work. In any case, the much-overused word Heuristics,
actually refers to analysis and use by logical trial
and error, as opposed to analysis according to predetermined
algorithms or variable formulas. Essentially, AVG Anti-Virus
is designed to use trial and error methods to analyze
code which it suspects might represent a virus. This
is not a new approach, nor is it a bad approach; just
don't be dazzled by the word heuristic.
to use interface, good database, effective protection
and low price. What more can you ask? A polished antivirus
program (the installer issues really were a rare anomaly)
that does its job well. Because it works well and is
being diligently updated, you can safely ignore some
of the many localization problems. AVG AntiVirus seems
to be a safe, robust alternative to McAfee Antivirus,
Norton Antivirus, Zone Alarm, and Dr. Solomon's (note
that McAfee and Dr. Solomon's are both now owned by Network
Associates). If you register your own copy of AVG AntiVirus
on the Grisoft web site, you can sign up for the AVG
Virus Alert. The service notifies you via e-mail about
new virus threats and corresponding updates to AVG AntiVirus.